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Restaurant Eve (Epic Fail)

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I was utterly disappointed with the service, the staff and the quality of the food. We made reservations a month in advance for our family who was visiting from out of town. The reservation box asks for dietary restrictions, and I explained that we had one dairy allergy and one vegetarian. When the restaurant called to confirm the reservation, they explained that they were aware of the restriction. I picked Restaurant Eve particularly because vegetarians have said that it is a good option.

When we got to the restaurant, I was surprised to see that there was only one vegetarian appetizer and it was an Indian Street food menu item that is starchy, fried and with very little nutritional content. There was no vegetarian entree.

I asked the waiter if there was anyway I could get some vegetables, either from some of the sides that they had on the entrees or anything else they had on the menu. The waiter said that he would have to ask the chef, and then he came back to say that they are RUNNING LOW on vegetables so the chef cannot give me any. (Mind you, I called a MONTH in advance to say that we were coming)

The waiter said that he could give me a "leafy green salad" as an appetizer. he prix fixe costs $65 and everyone else on the table had interesting and inventive food. I did not want to pay $65 for a salad, so I asked for the other option. The waiter said that my vegetarian entree course was a Moroccan stew or falafel. Again, I can get a falafel wrap on the street for $6 and was not expecting that as part of a fine dining experience. I asked for the Moroccan stew.

The first course came out and it was horrible. It was a mess of starchy fried bits of flour and sauce that immediately gave me heartburn as soon as I ate it. I barely touched my food while the rest of my table finished their first course.

Then the second course came out and the waiter brought me the WRONG DISH. I had ordered the Moroccan stew and he brought out the Falafel!!!! When I told the waiter that it was the wrong dish, he tried to say that the chef had combined the stew and the falafel, but he was just straight up lying. The Falafel dish he brought out was exactly like the dish he described and NOTHING like the Moroccan stew.

And what is worse is that the Falafel dish was almost exactly the same as the first course they brought out (with the same chickpeas and potatoes) and it gave me the same kind of heartburn as soon as I ate it.

So I ate a few bites and then stopped. The rest of my table finished their entrees and none of the waitstaff seemed to notice that I was not eating. Finally, the Sommelier came by to refill wine and asked me what I thought of the Falafel and I explained the situation. She said that the restaurant had no vegetables because its the time of year where they cannot get any vegetables!!! I said that I had called a month in advance, and all of the other entrees have vegetables as sides so I don't understand why they cannot just give me vegetables.

She took my falafel away and then came by later to say that she was bringing me another entree. I said that was not really necessary. At this point, the other 5 people at my table were finishing their entrees and I did not want to GET my dish at that point. The point of going out to eat with people is that you enjoy the dining experience together. She insisted on bringing out an entree, so I let her.

She came back with some ricotta stuffed pasta and some bits of small turnips. While the entree itself was better than the first two, I had lost my appetite. I ate out of politeness.

As a vegetarian, I am used to getting sub-par meals and horribly cooked vegetables. I rarely complain. If it is edible, I'm fine. But if you are going to an expensive meal to a restaurant that advertises that it caters to vegetarians AND YOU GIVE THEM A MONTHS NOTICE that you are coming, I expect a decent vegetarian meal.

Our bill ended up being about $100 a person when it should have cost about $10. It was just that bad. We were with family and I did not want to make a scene so I remained polite throughout the dinner, but I will never eat here again. If you have any dietary restrictions, or if you are looking for a restaurant to accommodate your preferences, do not eat at Restaurant Eve.

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Restaurant Eve
110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

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  1. I'm so surprised to read this, as I've always had a very satisfying experience at Restaurant Eve. Sorry to hear this happened.

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    Restaurant Eve
    110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

    1. I'm also suprised to hear this. I would certainly have excused myself and spoken to the manager. No need to make a scene, but they are in the business of keeping customers happy, which clearly you weren't.

      1. Okay, I get it, the waiter was a jerk, it sounds like, and in an ideal world they could have noticed that you weren't eating it, but, you know, we're talking about the waiter who didn't care that he brought you the wrong dish. Probably a good time to excuse yourself from the table and have a word with the manager to see if your experience can be improved.

        Another idea is to call sometime in the early afternoon the day you're coming and get something set up for you then.

        I haven't been to Restaurant Eve yet, but I've been looking forward to getting over there at some point - are you saying that *all* the food was bad, or just yours?

        1. Third on the surprise. I've never had anything but impeccable food at Restaurant Eve, and many of my vegetarian friends have gone and had great experiences, with very understanding and accommodating service. That's really too bad.

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          Restaurant Eve
          110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

          1. What was the appetizer? The only Inidan dish I know of on their menu in Papri Chat, which is more like a salad with chickpeas and greens and some chutney and a few other things, but certainly isn't all fried bits or greasy, I probably eat it every couple months and it has never been like that.

            Not to say this all didn't happen, but it just seems like there are some things that are a little bit questionable to me, from someone who works nearby and is a regular it doesn't sound quite accurate. Maybe it is, I wasn't there, just seems like some things sound a bit odd.

            I actually need to eat mostly gluten free and they are always extremely nice and accommodating.

            1. Did you take ANY of this up with the *manager* at the time? Not the waiter, not the sommelier, but the MANAGER?

              It sounds like you had a really bad experience, and I'm sorry about that, but there isn't anything folks on Chowhound can do about it. The only person who could have handled this is the manager, whom I would have asked to speak to right away after that appetizer course if this had happened to me (I'm vegetarian, too).

              I've never heard of a restaurant "running out" of vegetables. Something about this is hinky.

              It's a shame this happened, but if you are having a lousy dining experience, especially at a high-end place like Restaurant Eve, the management needs to know about it tout suite.

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              Restaurant Eve
              110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

              1. I concur with others on this board that your experience is very surprising and seems to be the exception. I celebrated my birthday at Restaurant Eve last year with my vegetarian husband and they were very accommodating with substitutions, service was impeccable and the food divine! Sorry to hear of your unpleasant experience there... would definitely have brought it to the manager's attention.

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                Restaurant Eve
                110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

                1. Update.

                  I completely agree that I should have taken it up with the manager, but my mother in law insisted that I not so I did not. However I did request vegetables with the waiter, I did ask for an accommodation when I ordered my food and the waiter said that it was not possible. I asked for vegetables, and he went and asked the chef and then came back and said that they were running low on vegetables so they could not accomodate me.

                  I realize that this sounds completely preposterous, and that is because it absolutely was! I never write negative reviews about a restaurant, nor am I the person to send things back. As a vegetarian, you become used to eating sub-par food and just sucking it up. This was an exceptionally bad experience and I would encourage vegetarians not to eat here.

                  I have emailed the manager to let them know about my experience, but I have not heard back. My impression (the entire night) from Restaurant Eve was that they just didn't care.

                  And it could be that they have enough of a reputation already that they are not concerned about one unhappy diner. However what they should be concerned with is that many dining parties have one or more vegetarian guests, even if the entire table is not vegetarian. For those of you with a vegetarian guest in your party, I would encourage you not to go to Restaurant Eve because your vegetarian guest will be unhappy.

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                  Restaurant Eve
                  110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: idealist

                    I, too, am surprised by your experience at Restaurant Eve. I have eaten there too many times to count, and whether it has been the Tasting Room, the Bistro, or a quick lunch at the bar, the food and service have always been impeccable, and everyone has gone the extra mile to ensure a great experience.

                    I'm not vegetarian, but I am gluten intolerant. When I can arrange ahead of time, the restaurant has delicious fresh-baked gluten-free bread ready for me. When I can't, I just don't eat any bread, which is fine. For our anniversary last September, my husband and I enjoyed the 9-course tasting menu, and every one of my courses was gluten-free. I'm just saying this by way of explaining the level of service I consistently receive there.

                    I suggest that you post a copy of your email to the "manager," as well as his response, here on this thread. It sounds like you haven't heard back promptly, which surprises me, so I recommend calling (on a weekday afternoon, not at the height of service) to make sure that the General Manager (Todd Thrasher) has actually received your email.

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                    Restaurant Eve
                    110 South Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314